David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a walk off solo home run in the 11th inning to win Game Six of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals won 10-9. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
World Baseball Network
David Freese grew up in the greater St. Louis area, rooting for the Cardinals.
He played the first five seasons of his Major League career in St. Louis, setting a record for RBI in the 2011 postseason, sending 21 runners in to score as the Cardinals went on to beat the Texas Rangers four games to three in the World Series. He was the 2011 National League Championship Series and World Series MVP and an All-Star in 2012 with the Cardinals.
This year, the fans in St. Louis voted him into the Cardinals Hall of Fame – but Freese declined the honor, saying he did not feel he was deserving of the honor.
Freese was to be honored in August along with former player and long-time Cardinals coach Jose Oquendo and Max Lanier.
“I look at who I was during my tenure, and that weighs heavily on me. The Cardinals and the entire city have always had my back in every way. I’m forever grateful to be part of such an amazing organization and fan base then, now and in the future,” Freese said in a statement. “I’m especially sorry to the fans that took the time to cast their votes. Cardinal Nation is basically the reason why I’ve unfortunately waited so long for this decision and made it more of a headache for so many people.
“I feel strongly about my decision and understand how people might feel about this. I get it. I’ll wear it. Thank you for always being there for me, and I am excited to be around the Cardinals as we move forward.”
Freese said that he would remain active with the Cardinals alumni.
Players who spent three seasons with the Cardinals and have been retired from Major League Baseball for three years are eligible for election to the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
Other former Cardinals players on the fan ballot this season were Joaquín Andújar, Steve Carlton, Matt Morris and Edgar Renteria.
Freese later played for the Los Angeles Angels and the Pittsburgh Pirates before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019. He batted .277 over his career with 117 homers in the Major Leagues.